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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Mark -

    I've been to a stand-up or two. Why is it that so many comics spend so much time swearing and being seriously aggressive, often right at the audience?
    It works for them, I guess. (And perhaps nothing else would.)
    Seinfeld once said he thought using foul language in comedy was like cutting across the infield to get to the other side of the track. You can do it but he would rather not. I think he's better for having "stayed clean." But I also thought Richard Pryor was brilliant and he could curse with the best of them. (Though he did not attack the audience.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
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  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I asked the comic, "What is it that you know that they don't know?" He looked at me and thought a moment. "They don't know that the audience wants to like them."
    If there is a "Secret" to performing, this is it.

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Mark -

    I've been to a stand-up or two. Why is it that so many comics spend so much time swearing and being seriously aggressive, often right at the audience? I just don't find it funny because, basically, it's not. Why can't they come on and make people smile without effing and being crude all the time?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude or over-sensitive etc, I just don't see the attraction.

    Sorry, nothing to do with music
    You might like Brian Reagan. Just saw him recently. He works clean and is VERY funny.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  5. #104

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    I always thought it was their insecurity, a way of bridging the gap between the performer and the audience. I mean, you only really swear when you're relaxed and familiar with people so that's what they do. It's a way of saying 'It's okay, we all know each other, we're just in the living room together having fun'.

    Trouble is, I never quite believed it. The fact is if someone behaved like that in your house they wouldn't last very long

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Herb Ellis did a lot of that. Sometimes a whole beat ahead of the bar line (where the chords will officially change).
    I do that sometimes, because the mind's moving ahead, but it doesn't always work. It depends on the harmony but often the clash is too great. A note or two is okay.

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I do that sometimes, because the mind's moving ahead, but it doesn't always work. It depends on the harmony but often the clash is too great. A note or two is okay.
    Anything works if strongly set up the resolution with forward motion, as a pickup. This is as much about rhythm and phrasing as the harmony.

    It can't be because you got the changes wrong ha ha (as I have found :-))

    Another one is if you set up song strongly outlined changes (arpeggios of a I VI II V in rhythm changes say) something really obvious and clear, in triads, and then you anticipate or delay by a beat (or even an eighth note) - can create fantastic tension.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-08-2016 at 07:32 AM.

  8. #107

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    OK, I think I've finally found the words to sum up why I think CST is a poor learning tool for developing improvisers. It's this:

    When you learn to solo with chord tones and diatonic and chromatic passing tones, you are learning to set up and resolve dissonance. There is an inherent swing built into that - you might start by leading a phrase to resolve on the beat, but later develop the ability to resolve early or late creates a rhythmic tension that helps the music groove, by superimposing other meters on top of the basic time.

    In short the rhythm, harmony and the melody are bound up together.

    Also, if you learn to outline changes, you can carry the harmonic weight when there's no comping instrument. This becomes fun because you can start defining a harmonic space and playing around with it, instead of simply floating over the changes. It also useful for groups where you might not have a bass, or playing solo. We call this 'descriptive language' in jazz jargon.

    CST in contrast - a lot of the basic scale choices are designed to limit dissonance and preference 'good sounding' notes - so this means you never get to grips with dissonance. Also lines - such as intervallic contemporary lines employed by sophisticated, advanced CST improvisers - tend to sound resolved in any rhythm. There's no inherent swing drive to them. You can play them in any note values you want and the harmonic effect will be similar. It has no 'forward motion,' Basically those sort of lines just sit there.

    So the problem is making them swing. You have to have a rhythm in mind that you impose on the notes.

    In fact, some scales such as the Altered, almost function as collections of neighbour tones going into the target chord, but that's a little hard to hear if you don't have a grasp of resolution with simple neighbour tone/chord tone combinations.

    OTOH an improvisor coming to CST after they have developed the ability to both outline and employ dissonance to enhance swing in their playing will be able to do the same thing with CST, or incorporate CST alongside their more functional/descriptive playing. For example, as with Jordan, we can take triad in the Upper Structure of the chord and use that as a basis for lines that employ dissonance and resolution.

    But if you can't do that with a simple triad in root position, say, you aren't ever going to develop that ability. I don't know any real jazz guitarist who can't do that.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-08-2016 at 08:13 AM.

  9. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    In fact, some scales such as the Altered, almost function as collections of neighbour tones going into the target chord, but that's a little hard to hear if you don't have a grasp of resolution with simple neighbour tone/chord tone combinations.

    OTOH an improvisor coming to CST after they have developed the ability to both outline and employ dissonance to enhance swing in their playing will be able to do the same thing with CST, or incorporate CST alongside their more functional/descriptive playing.
    I think this is it, really, and it's what most people actually mean when they say that CST "doesn't work" or whatever.

    It's not necessarily about frustrated individuals chucking all their previous fretboard work. You've still got to develop an ear for rhythmically resolving things, and it can't be skipped. The good news is that once you learn to utilize the rhythmic aspects of dissonance/resolution or tension/release, you can actually USE that previous knowledge in whole new ways.

  10. #109

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    And this may be why "The Jazz Theory Book" is not so good for beginners......

  11. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by boatheelmusic View Post
    And this may be why "The Jazz Theory Book" is not so good for beginners......
    Yeah. I really think that's the best qualifier, for the statements about CST : "for beginners".

    I remember another thread in which people were railing against CST, over complicating etc., and Reg said something which was probably more profound than he realized. I mean, he's always talked about being aware of larger pitch collections/scales/harmonic implications of melody etc...

    Anyway, in responding to one of the naysayers, he said, in passing, something like "unless you have a basic problem with melody or something....". But that's the thing. I think, in the beginning, most of us really do. Neighbor tones, chord tones, tension/resolution are really starting points for hearing melody that way. Then you can apply them to all kinds of things, far beyond the initial examples which may have opened your ears.

    Transcription is probably the best way to learn to start hearing this kind of thing, even if only on a subconscious level. But it would also seem valuable, to me, to at least understand the basics of what is actually happening and why things "work " in great solos, at least eventually. Otherwise there is a complete disconnect between things like scales/arpeggios/enclosures/other melodic devices.... and licks/transcription.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 11-08-2016 at 11:17 AM.

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    OK, I think I've finally found the words to sum up why I think CST is a poor learning tool for developing improvisers. It's this:

    When you learn to solo with chord tones and diatonic and chromatic passing tones, you are learning to set up and resolve dissonance. There is an inherent swing built into that - you might start by leading a phrase to resolve on the beat, but later develop the ability to resolve early or late creates a rhythmic tension that helps the music groove, by superimposing other meters on top of the basic time.

    In short the rhythm, harmony and the melody are bound up together.
    Exactly! And this is actually a pretty simple way of approaching it
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    CST in contrast - a lot of the basic scale choices are designed to limit dissonance and preference 'good sounding' notes - so this means you never get to grips with dissonance.

    Also lines - such as intervallic contemporary lines employed by sophisticated, advanced CST improvisers - tend to sound resolved in any rhythm. There's no inherent swing drive to them. You can play them in any note values you want and the harmonic effect will be similar. It has no 'forward motion,' Basically those sort of lines just sit there.
    Yes. It's like you're entrusting the forward motion to the chords themselves - ignoring any such motion that might be built into them.

    But then that's because CST was never designed for use on sequences with "forward motion" anyway. It arose from modal jazz, where the harmony is static (or moving from one static harmony to another), and where it was important to define (and maximise) the note choice on each chord/mode.

    CST is simply a principle for defining the note choices at each point in a tune. It's not a method for improvisation, in that it doesn't tell you how to use those notes.

    And applying it to functional sequences in major or minor keys is asking for trouble. It's taking your eye off the ball, which is linear (forward) motion. You only have to listen to functional sequences (and melodies in keys) to hear that movement. And yet CST (IF misapplied in this way) is encouraging you to ignore it and focus on each chord in turn.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    So the problem is making them swing. You have to have a rhythm in mind that you impose on the notes.
    Yes - although I think it's a little unfair to blame CST if a soloist has poor rhythm or can't swing. You can apply swing and rhythm on a one-chord modal vamp if you want, using all the notes CST supplies.
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    In fact, some scales such as the Altered, almost function as collections of neighbour tones going into the target chord,
    "entirely", not "almost".
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    but that's a little hard to hear if you don't have a grasp of resolution with simple neighbour tone/chord tone combinations.
    Right. CST persuades you to think vertically rather than horizontally. The scale is all the extensions and alterations you can pile on a chord root without disturbing its function. And then what do you do with all those notes? Noodle around on them (as many as you can squeeze in?) until the next chord-scale turns up?
    Much better to pick one or two notes out of the chord, and work out how to link them to the next chord.
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    OTOH an improvisor coming to CST after they have developed the ability to both outline and employ dissonance to enhance swing in their playing will be able to do the same thing with CST, or incorporate CST alongside their more functional/descriptive playing.
    Yes, but the more experienced you are with "functional/descriptive playing", the less CST has to teach you anyway. You already know how all the notes function with regard to any one chord (and the next). And not just the 7 "inside" ones, but the 5 outside ones too.
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    But if you can't do that with a simple triad in root position, say, you aren't ever going to develop that ability. I don't know any real jazz guitarist who can't do that.
    Of course, I'm agreeing with you all the way here, just making additional comments!

    It doesn't take much playing around with melodies and with simple triadic (or 7ths) sequences - and listening to jazz of that type too - to see how it all connects, via guide tones and voice-leading. Also the effects of certain sustained chord extensions. And moreover how you can use chromatics to spice things up, for more half-step resolutions, chord tone approaches, etc. Melodies themselves will teach you most of that. Jazz chord sequences and substitutions tell you the rest. And then the way jazz musicians play will tell you about rhythm and accent, all the important stuff .

  13. #112

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    I don't like it for beginners because there's too many options.

    restrictions are good at the start. Work with what little you have, and learn to make that stuff WORK. You can play a hell of a lot of jazz with just chord tones, connecting chromatics, and a focus on time and phrasing.

    It's like the roller skates for kids that don't spin backwards.
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  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Anyway, in responding to one of the naysayers, he said, in passing, something like "unless you have a basic problem with melody or something....". But that's the thing. I think, in the beginning, most of us really do. Neighbor tones, chord tones, tension/resolution are really starting points for hearing melody that way. Then you can apply them to all kinds of things, far beyond the initial examples which may have opened your ears.
    And if you start your musical development by playing melodies anyway... Then there is no mystery to it. You see (and more importantly hear) how melodies connect to, and spring from, chords; how chords support the melody and supply other melodic movements.

    I guess I was lucky, in that melodies were the first things I learned, even before chords. I never had a "problem with melody" in that sense. My rhythm was OK too. My only problems were technical (getting my fingers to work fast enough) and aural (being able to hear pitch clearly).

    So it's always kind of mystified me how so many people have a problem knowing how to improvise, and needing all kinds of guidance. Obviously I'm not claiming I was a great improviser from the beginning! (and am still only average, I guess), but the principles were always plain as day. The challenge was never what to play or how to play it. The stuff is all there in the tune (melody, rhythms and chords): you take that, and mess it around a little. The challenge was - and still is - being able to hear the notes I wanted in my head, and then getting to them fast enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Transcription is probably the best way to learn to start hearing this kind of thing, even if only on a subconscious level. But it would also seem valuable, to me, to at least understand the basics of what is actually happening and why things "work " in great solos, at least eventually. Otherwise there is a complete disconnect between things like scales/arpeggios/enclosures/other melodic devices.... and licks/transcription.
    Right. My advice (obviously based on my own experience) would be just to learn to play as many melodies as you can find (and yes the chords too, understanding the connections).
    Transcription yes (of melodies and solos), to train your ear and be sure you getting the right notes, but of course playing what you learn is what matters.

    Naturally, the more music you learn, the better your ear gets and the more your imagination expands. You become aware of more potential note choices at each point. CST is one way of categorizing that kind of info - and no more than that. But you have to hear it first. "If you can't hear it, you can't play it". There was a time when I improvised almost entirely off the pentatonics of the chords (major on major, minor on minor), because I couldn't hear in my head the effects of other notes. I didn't feel I was missing much because the other notes were outside my experience. I had nothing I wanted to "say" in those terms. Obviously I heard such notes in more advanced jazz, but then I didn't understand that music anyway, so was not interested in playing it. The more I understood what I heard, the more I was able to find the notes. And vice versa: the more I played those other notes, the more I could hear them first.
    Reading books of scales, or jazz theory, would not have worked at all.
    Last edited by JonR; 11-08-2016 at 11:45 AM.

  15. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    CST is simply a principle for defining the note choices at each point in a tune. It's not a method for improvisation, in that it doesn't tell you how to use those notes.
    This seems very sensible, and it nearly feels like a RESPONSE to the next part.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    And applying it to functional sequences in major or minor keys is asking for trouble. It's taking your eye off the ball, which is linear (forward) motion. You only have to listen to functional sequences (and melodies in keys) to hear that movement. And yet CST (IF misapplied in this way) is encouraging you to ignore it and focus on each chord in turn.
    I feel like this is back to blaming the idea itself again. I really like the first response here.

    I honestly feel that the whole CST discussion is mostly semantics, where people talk past each other. People always talk about how silly it is to think "Dorian , mixolydian" etc., but all players have SOMETHING they "think" for the same thing, regardless of the label they put on it, or regardless of whether they have any actual WORD for it. If someone wants to think "major diatonic" instead, or any other wordless feeling, I don't really have a problem with that. There are greats on both sides who think about things in either of those ways or both.

    I think most of us who get bent out of shape about it misunderstand what other people are THINKING when they talk about "Dorian mixolydian" etc. I mean, if we're talking about real players, can they actually play? Is the terminology actually helping them back? ? A great many of them who talk that way can and do.

    The reality is that Mixolydian is a shorthand among real players for "not altered". It distinguishes itself from Lydian dominant or altered etc, which are not crazy modal sounds. Many great players would have just called all three (and beyond) "dominant", and that's fine for them, but it's inherently less specific about what they're actually playing. Professional players mostly don't have any confusion when they talk about Dorian, in that context (as opposed to subbing melodic minor). They don't assume that they're actually having a conversation about modal jazz like "so what".

    The idea of having to explain EVERY TIME that "Dorian" (as the term is used in talking about playing over a ii7 chord), is different from "So What " modal jazz, is akin to having to explain, every time you talk to someone, that melodic minor, in jazz , means ASCENDING melodic minor.

    Thinking about terminology in different ways won't help you play better if you can't play. Likewise, thinking about the terminology for what you play in various ways won't hurt you, IF you can already basically PLAY. It's just terminology.

    Terminology itself is neither the solution nor "the problem".
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 11-08-2016 at 11:55 AM.

  16. #115

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with CST as such, quite the contrary, but the danger, like any theory, is that one can get locked into it and afraid to deviate.

    It's necessary to know that chords are built from a scale and therefore that scale can be used over the chords. But if you only stick to that it has nothing to do with all those other interesting sounds that jazz players produce.

    Whether CST makes allowances for passing tones or other non-scale tones, I don't know. It should, really, because it makes the music so much more interesting. And who doesn't use them?

    This is good:

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  17. #116

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  18. #117

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    I guess I never really had a problem with CST because I could always kind of tell when a melody didn't work - i.e., something didn't resolve in the right way.

    But then again, I didn't really start getting comfortable with improvising in a jazz context until I started focusing on chord tones. When I started just apeggiating every chord in a tune, then moving to the nearest chord tone when the chord changed, I started to hear the skeleton of what improvisations sounded like. Once I got the hang of that, then the stuff I'd learned about CST kind of dropped into place. It wasn't that CST was "wrong" or anything. It's just that not all the notes in any given scale or mode are not equally viable as points of resolution. (Yes, I know they can be if they're set up right, but that's an advanced technique, so I'm putting it aside for now.)

    To touch on an earlier comment, there was a period where I kind of saw every note that wasn't a chord tone as being "dominant" and every chord tone as being "tonic" such that with almost every couple of notes you'd have this micro domintant > tonic movement. It's not great from a semantic standpoint, but conceptually, I found it useful for a while. Like if I were playing over a G7 chord, I'd think of A, A#, C or C# as being "dominant notes" that might resolve to "tonic notes" that could be B or D. (Or G, I guess, you could include Ab there.). When the chord shifted to CMaj7, The dominant notes became anything that wasn't C, E, G, or B. I don't really think of it that way now, but for a while it was a helpful thought.
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  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Whether CST makes allowances for passing tones or other non-scale tones, I don't know. It should, really, because it makes the music so much more interesting. And who doesn't use them?
    I don't recall anything I've read about CST explicitly mentioning non-scale tones, either in a pre- or proscriptive way. I don't think any serious player or teacher would tell you that they're not allowed, or even that they're not a good idea. On the other hand, I've never heard of CST being taught in a vacuum, either. It's just a way of organizing pitch sets. It's not an exhaustive handbook of improvisational practice.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  20. #119

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    Reg was right, as he usually is. CST tells you the notes you can use. It's up to you to find the way of using them. If you don't have an idea beforehand about what to play, then you should at least get an idea while trying out the notes provided by CST against the progression. If it did not provide all the notes on the first run, the rest you can fill in by ear, or take it from an optional scale based on CST, or whatever, but only you know what you are after. You have to have an idea before you begin, or get to an idea while doing it.

    IMO, the playing with "dissonances to add swing" is much more advanced one and must come after getting to grips with playing consonances. Being able to feel resolution on the beat is out of question. If you can not end on the beat, then what are you doing in music?

    Playing games with disonances and tensions over movements, as opposed to playing "vertical relationships, coud be a shortcut to hell of musical nonsense. You should be able to play vertical relationships over the movements so to produce tension and resolution at adequate moment.

    It's relatively irrelevant weather you know why, you don't even have to be aware of "outness", tensions and resolutions, eventually, if good, it will all sound "in" and resolved overal, it is important to feel that it really sounds good and apropriate. No ammount of attitude helps there. Or not using CST, or using it.

    Transcription helps, but ... there are many many things I don't like to hear, but hear it all the time in lines played by many "greats". Why would I transcribe what I don't like? Obviously, those things are not essential, because I still like the thing as a whole. Then someone tells me I should do it and learn it the way old masters were learning and doing. Why? So that I would play what I don't like? Thank you, but sorry.

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  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    If you don't have an idea beforehand about what to play, then you should at least get an idea while trying out the notes provided by CST against the progression. If it did not provide all the notes on the first run, the rest you can fill in by ear, or take it from an optional scale based on CST, or whatever, but only you know what you are after. You have to have an idea before you begin, or get to an idea while doing it.
    To be fair, my first whack at applying CST was to run every scale from the root up against every chord. Sounded terrible. My second whack was to run the first chord-scale from the root up and the move to the nearest CS note when the chord changed. Also sounded terrible.

    The thing is, I knew it sounded terrible. I wasn't thinking that that was how I was supposed to do it. I could tell that there was a problem with my application. So, as I mentioned above, I started looking at arpeggios, and then it clicked. I could see where the resolutions were supposed to happen, and then I could look at the chord-scales, as a set of chord tones and "connecting" tones.

    If you just start running scales over chords and thinking it sounds great, then you've got to work on developing your sense of melody before you go any further.

    I mean, even in modal music, you can't just blithely run scales. If you listen to, say, Miles' solo on "So What"*, it's pretty clear he's targeting specific notes in his phrases. They're not always chord tones, but when they're not, they create a specific effect, and the tension generally gets released in the next phrase, or soon after.

    *(Speaking of "So What", I heard a really cool thing on the radio the other day that was a jazz rendition of the Police song "Driven To Tears" that included a lot of quoting from "So What". Really, really cool. Wish I could remember who did it.)
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  22. #121

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    But then that's because CST was never designed for use on sequences with "forward motion" anyway. It arose from modal jazz, where the harmony is static (or moving from one static harmony to another), and where it was important to define (and maximise) the note choice on each chord/mode.
    Right. Russell allegedly turned Miles onto this idea after a young Miles mentioned looking for different ways of thinking about chords. For all intents and purposes that was the birth of CST as we know it now although I still maintain its a dumbing down of the LCC.

    I'd personally like to take the "T" in CST and rename it "Tool" (in a not totally derogatory sense ).

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    can create fantastic tension
    It can, but it can also sound just plain wrong. I'm trying to think of an example but I can't at the moment. Probably chords in the same key in a logical progression work okay but severely anticipating a modulation doesn't. Well, not usually.

    Oh, about chord function. I remember doing that Satin Doll thing upthread, I played a Cm over one of the G7's (at 3.06) without really thinking about it. Technically fine but out of function. It only just worked. I was lucky
    Last edited by ragman1; 11-08-2016 at 07:08 PM.

  24. #123
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    It can, but it can also sound just plain wrong. I'm trying to think of an example but I can't at the moment.
    Ok???

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Ok???
    I don't understand your question.

  26. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Right. My advice (obviously based on my own experience) would be just to learn to play as many melodies as you can find (and yes the chords too, understanding the connections).
    Transcription yes (of melodies and solos), to train your ear and be sure you getting the right notes, but of course playing what you learn is what matters.
    Barney Kessel suggested folk songs for this. Christmas songs are good too. Songs you sang as a kid in school or with your folks on long drives. Simple melodies but you know them cold. One reason they're easy to pick out is that they tend to be simple; another reason is that you have no doubt about how they go.
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 11-08-2016 at 08:22 PM.
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  27. #126

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    TBH this is all words - the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    If you want to check this yourself, can you spell out the changes clearly in time without a backing track in 1/2 notes, 1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, triplets?

    If you can, great, you can play changes, now move onto CST, US triads, bebop, whatever you want. If not, spend some more time with the basics.

    This as a baseline level of harmonic competence, and I still need to practice it on unfamiliar tunes.

    It's what my teachers expected of me. It's what I expect of myself. It's what I train my students to do.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-08-2016 at 08:27 PM.

  28. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    It can, but it can also sound just plain wrong. I'm trying to think of an example but I can't at the moment. Probably chords in the same key in a logical progression work okay but severely anticipating a modulation doesn't. Well, not usually.
    You can totally anticipate a modulation by a beat.

    Oh, about chord function. I remember doing that Satin Doll thing upthread, I played a Cm over one of the G7's (at 3.06) without really thinking about it. Technically fine but out of function. It only just worked. I was lucky
    Doing something by mistake is not the same thing as doing something intentionally. Even if you play exactly the same notes one will sound strong, the other weak. You need to be able to hear it, whatever you do.

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    You can totally anticipate a modulation by a beat.
    Oh, one beat's okay.

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Oh, one beat's okay.
    Perhaps more

  31. #130

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    An hour ago I played note Ab over Cm7 I will play tonite.
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  32. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    An hour ago I played note Ab over Cm7 I will play tonite.
    Ab is the b9 of G7, which goes with C-, so this is no surprise. Though it is a nice sound.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  33. #132

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    I like the idea that vladan just left that note unresolved for an hour just to be a troll

  34. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I like the idea that vladan just left that note unresolved for an hour just to be a troll
    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    An hour ago I played note Ab over Cm7 I will play tonite.
    Ha. This made me laugh. Getting into real music nerd territory here, but this makes me think of when I first learned about such things as cadences half cadences etc. in school. The professor would play the first part of the shave and haircut thing and leave off the "two bits" resolution.

    Once you hear that, you're never satisfied with things like that not being resolved somewhat. So, then as a music major waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant, I was continually tortured by the happy birthday-type song which was sung countless times a day for guests. It was to the tune of la Cucaracha, and my untrained coworkers sang the half cadence of the first phrase the same way at the ending as well, never resolving. Tried to teach them to end on "Do", but it was a fool's errand.

    They had absolutely no clue what my beef was.

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post

    They had absolutely no clue what my beef was.
    Oh, was it that kind of a restaurant?

  36. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Once you hear that, you're never satisfied with things like that not being resolved somewhat. So, then as a music major waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant, I was continually tortured by the happy birthday-type song which was sung countless times a day for guests. It was to the tune of la Cucaracha, and my untrained coworkers sang the half cadence of the first phrase the same way at the ending as well, never resolving. Tried to teach them to end on "Do", but it was a fool's errand.

    They had absolutely no clue what my beef was.
    Irving Berlin's first job was as a singing waiter. He thought life couldn't get any better.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  37. #136

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    I think it's at the end he says why.

    Obviously...resolving on cool Chord Tones and Extensions.

    Not playing the Scale in Alphabetical Order.
    Widening the Intervals in the Scale
    Interpolating other stuff in the middle of the scale to break it up.

    Going from Extension to scale to another extension or Chord Tone etc.

    Stacking the scale into wider intervals.

    Using Enharmonic Pentatonic Scales as a substitute for a 7 Note Scale - a Pentatonic Scale seems more permissible to quote verbatim but like all improv. - the Melodic Cadences ...the longer and or main expressive notes in your Solo are ALWAYS chord tones and extensions regardless of WHAT scale and often even what Key you are in.

    Chord Tones and Extensions are the structure....scales are ornamentation and should be used carefully or disguised or a really hot looking Woman should come out and dance as misdirection to the Audience ( like Magicians use) to distract them from your 2 Octave scale.

    *This is Scientific Fact......


    *OK maybe not- but don't you like the Dancing Girl Part ?

  38. #137

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    I've got quite into playing random notes on difficult changes after I run out of things that fit the changes. Or even on normal changes.

    I think I hear Julian Lage doing this from time to time.

    I hope that one day someone may try and transcribe my lines puzzling out their harmonic significance unaware of their cheerfully chaotic nature.

    Anyway as they say - 'practice like a scientist, play like a drunk.'

  39. #138

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Anyway as they say - 'practice like a scientist, play like a drunk.'
    You gotta sound like a drunk scientist, that's where it's at.

  40. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post


    I think it's at the end he says why.

    Obviously...resolving on cool Chord Tones and Extensions.

    Not playing the Scale in Alphabetical Order.
    Widening the Intervals in the Scale
    Interpolating other stuff in the middle of the scale to break it up.

    Going from Extension to scale to another extension or Chord Tone etc.

    Stacking the scale into wider intervals.

    Using Enharmonic Pentatonic Scales as a substitute for a 7 Note Scale - a Pentatonic Scale seems more permissible to quote verbatim but like all improv. - the Melodic Cadences ...the longer and or main expressive notes in your Solo are ALWAYS chord tones and extensions regardless of WHAT scale and often even what Key you are in.

    Chord Tones and Extensions are the structure....scales are ornamentation and should be used carefully or disguised or a really hot looking Woman should come out and dance as misdirection to the Audience ( like Magicians use) to distract them from your 2 Octave scale.

    *This is Scientific Fact......


    *OK maybe not- but don't you like the Dancing Girl Part ?

    Enharmonic Pentatonic Scales? Isn't that just calling the same notes by their other names?




  41. #140

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    Is this discussion about a certain style/period of jazz? The approaches being discussed weigh differently if you're talking about bebop, hard bop, post bop. bop bop bop. 40's swing. "Free" playing, blues? How can any conclusion be arrived at without knowing where the theory will be applied, how appropriate is it? I learned to play on the stand, learning from other musicians, taking criticism and hard knocks, and suggestions not based on what theory I was following but how it sounded to them and myself, and whether I came across emotionally and was being real. And certainly I also studied music theory at the library and sometimes experimented with stuff on the gig. Sometimes it worked and often it didn't, and that's how I learned and continue to learn. I happen to personally find the study of chords and intervals, and chord/key center substitutions more valuable to deriving an interpretation of my own on a standard, and more relevant to guitar students I have. But it's all good if you can get it to work for YOU. If a student just wants to play "jazz guitar", but has no real love for listening and a desire to understand the aesthetics and musicality of the jazz culture (as much as it may remain), it doesn't matter what theory you show them, they have to develop a listening ear first. (and for other instruments too) Theory is after the fact, it can occasionally lead you to a new area you would not have maybe got to right away. But there's a zillion theories, and then there's the actual music. They exist in parallel, like criticism, but are not the same thing as the music. I'm just a newbie to the forum so that's just my $.02.

    to OP... my suggestion is to take part of your practice time (not all) and just work on melodic and intervalic motifs and structures, transpose them by certain intervals, for instance a tritone. Practice making up melodic lines that are not derived consciously from a key, or scale, limit yourself at times to 1 to 3 intervals. Sing the line you made up, to yourself, and with the guitar, whistle or hum it. Have fun. See what crazy shit you can come up with. Try and develop a vocabulary unattached to these theories (hard to do but..) Then take those shapes you've created and then analyze them against certain chords or tonal centers. The singing will inform your ear and heart. You have to feel this stuff, internalize, don't externalize. "the line is in your body" , so said Lee Konitz.

  42. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomems View Post
    Enharmonic Pentatonic Scales? Isn't that just calling the same notes by their other names?



    Yes. But it also enables multiple uses for
    one Pentatonic scale ,so A minor Penta = C major Penta

    C major = the I , IV and V major Pentatonics and their Relative Minor Pentatonics ii iii, and vi Minor Pentatonics or more precisely the whole group of Pentatonics above are Subsets of the C Major Scale( or Key ) with each Major and it's Relative Minor being enharmonic.

    Pentatonic Scales are Real - lol
    Because One Major Scale ( or Key ) and one Pentatonic Scale can equal the whole Chromatic Scale and other Relationships.

    So Combined with Parent Keys and the above you can go Inside to Outside really quickly with Transposed Pentatonics or use the Subset Pentatonics to spread out intervals in the Modes....

    They can zero in on Chord Tones more accurately than a 7 note scale...I think I might start a Pentatonic Thread on here so the real Theory Heavyweights and Jazz Pros ( which I'm not either one- ) can weigh in and add to it into Transposed Pentatonics etc.

    I do a lot of shapes and wider interval stuff but use Pentatonics and Chromaticized Pentatonics with shapes and triads in the middle or end and two of my favorite Jazzers ...Benson and Brecker use(d) a surprising amount of Pentatonics .

    The Basic Parts of CST are cool for me - but I am not too interested in the ' Paint by Numbers ' aspects nor do I think there are deep Musical Secrets in CST which will enable someone to become the High Priest of Jazz ..lol.

    However- I do think Music School Grads ( which I am not ) are far better equipped to handle a Variety of musical environments professionally.

    The parts of Theory I am learning re- learning SIMPLIFY the fingefboard by giving multiple uses for the same fingerings etc.

    Absolutely not an intellectual pursuit on my part -

    CST will give a Player more options but will NOT directly improve your chops or your sense of time or ability to play what you 'hear ' in your mind.
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 02-05-2018 at 10:54 AM.

  43. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    Yes. But it also enables multiple uses for
    one Pentatonic scale ,so A minor Penta = C major Penta

    C major = the I , IV and V major Pentatonics and their Relative Minor Pentatonics ii iii, and vi Minor Pentatonics or more precisely the whole group of Pentatonics above are Subsets of the C Major Scale with each Major and it's Relative Minor being enharmonic.
    I wondered if this was what you were talking about. Pentatonic scale of the "chord of the moment" (C.O.M.) I guess. Great way really to do chord tone soloing outside of jazz as well.

    I'm not really a serious bluegrass player, but I have occasion to play some every once in a while. The real bluegrass guys have this way of playing straight diatonic 7-note scales, but targeting chord of the moment really well in that context. Harder for me to do without skipping any notes in that fashion. Anyway, I find that working for a couple of minutes on pentatonics for C.O.M. helps tune my ears up to being able to do this better with 7-note scales.

    Jazz applications for pentatonic's can be much more complex of course, but there's much to be done in all styles besides simply playing a single pentatonic over an entire key center.

  44. #143

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    I wondered if this was what you were talking about. Pentatonic scale of the "chord of the moment" (C.O.M.) I guess. Great way really to do chord tone soloing outside of jazz as well.

    I'm not really a serious bluegrass player, but I have occasion to play some every once in a while. The real bluegrass guys have this way of playing straight diatonic 7-note scales, but targeting chord of the moment really well in that context. Harder for me to do without skipping any notes in that fashion. Anyway, I find that working for a couple of minutes on pentatonics for C.O.M. helps tune my ears up to being able to do this better with 7-note scales.

    Jazz applications for pentatonic's can be much more complex of course, but there's much to be done in all styles besides simply playing a single pentatonic over an entire key center.
    Yes .Of course but in the example above I gave the I IV and V Pentatonics as Subsets of their Parent Major Scale which is 7 Notes then when you add in the # IV Pentatonic - you have all 12 Tones.

    So you have spread out the Major Scale or any Mode by using it's subset Pentatonics ...then you have your Transposed Pentatonics and their Relative Minor Pentatonics for your Altered Chords which ARE only 5 notes and more concise than a 7 Note Scale.

    I used to do a trick with novice players which was have them play happy Major Pentatonic Country licks in C ( C Maj Penta F major Penta Gmajor Penta contain all 7 notes from Cmajor Scale) and I 'd play stuff like Dminor/ Aminor 11 /Bb Major 9 #11 under it and they would sound like Steely Dan...lol.

    So the quickest way for many Guitarists to find all the outside tones in C major is...#IV Major Pentatonic.

    But no I wasn't suggesting you would play a whole tune using a single 5 Note scale...even the Stones didn't do that in 1966.

    Pentatonics are the most INSIDE SCALE you can use over ANY CHORD and the most OUTSIDE SCALE you can use over any chord -
    NOT the Lydian Mode as George Russell proposed.

    I never said only one Pentatonic but I explained my Theory of Pentatonics and 7 Note Scales - no one actually taught me that...

    THAT part of Theory is Actual Music Theory - locking into Key Signatures etc.
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 02-05-2018 at 10:59 AM.

  45. #144

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    just a reader here, what is CST ?

  46. #145

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    Chord Scale Theory

  47. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by gabr1el View Post
    just a reader here, what is CST ?
    Complicated, Silly.... Tantalising....

    Crap, Stupid, Tough.

    Crazy, Sophisticated, Treacherous...

  48. #147

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    Chord Scale Theory is the opposite of playing
    Arpeggios/related arpeggios over the Chords - but not exactly/ not really.

    Chord Scale Theory is the Opposite of 'Playing what you hear/imagine over the Chords'- but not exactly, not really because someone who is trained that way might start 'hearing' that way and combined with 'other' ways of improv. including Arps/ Sequences/ Motifs/ Rhythmic Sequences etc etc..might incorporate everything ....and 'hear' it or He might just use CST when he does not ' hear' what to Play.

    So maybe it's not the Opposite of Anything...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 10-04-2017 at 11:41 AM.

  49. #148

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    Chord Scales are just 13th chord arpeggios.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  50. #149

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    True. CST is extended arepggio playing. Except you condense it down into one octave and you can use those notes in any order/permutation.

    That BTW is the difference between CST and scale use circa 1940-50s... Not all notes in the commonly used diatonic scales could be used in this way....

    You can do similar stuff with pentatonics of course... So..

    3 notes - triads
    4 notes - 7th chords/6th chords
    5 notes - pentatonics
    6 notes - ?
    7 notes - CST (no avoid notes)

    But why stop there?... How about an 8 note CST scale that combines melodic minor and ionian modes:

    I.e. 8 note C dominant scale

    C D E F F# G A Bb

    TBH - that's what I hear more in actual jazz lines.

    Anyhoo. The next boring video no-one in their right mind would want to watch will address the difference between a 2 and a 9, 4 and 11 and so on... CST doesn't distinguish between them, but there is a very real difference.
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-04-2017 at 03:02 PM.

  51. #150

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    I love hey recent article by Ethan Iverson where he rails on, among other things, chord scale theory .

    He makes sure however to give Barry Harris is an absolute pass and absolves him completely.
    Navdeep Singh.